Staunton, May 8 – After many years of controversy, a bust of Stalin has been erected in Novosibirsk but not in the prominent place his backers wanted but rather on land belonging to the local organization of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, a compromise often made in Russia today but one that is tilting toward Stalin and the KPRF.
Stalin’s supporters began pushing for a monument to him two years ago, but they faced opposition from the population which launched a petition drive against the idea and organized protests and from within the city administration which feared that the statue would attract vandals and lead to controversy (sibreal.org/a/29928271.html and news.ngs.ru/more/66081385/).
But now by majority vote in city agencies and in an experts commission, the city has agreed to the erection of a statue but only on land owned by the KPRF, which presumably would be responsible for dealing with any acts of vandalism directed against it, thus getting the city off the hook (/kprfnsk.ru/inform/press_office/35933/).
When the Stalin bust is dedicated tomorrow, it will add to the number of statues there – one was pulled from a dump and put back up earlier in Novosibirsk in a more prominent place (newsru.com/russia/08may2019/stalin_open.html) – and elsewhere. Three, for example, have gone up in Stavropol Kray in recent months as well (kprf.ru/party-live/regnews/184887.html).
Not everyone is pleased by this development. Aleksandr Rudnitsky, head of the Memorial office in Novosibirsk, says that putting up any monument to Stalin “mocks the memory of the millions of victims of Stalin’s terror and of the people whose fates were crippled as a result.”
The Memorial activist points out that surely such statues are a violation of local ordinances: Novosibirsk prohibits putting up any memorials which offend human dignity and public morality. Stalin certainly fits into that category, Rudnitsky suggests.